by Gus Breiland
Corbin Kills the Sparrow
According to Autoweek.com, Corbin Motors of Hollister, California is ending the production of the Sparrow. This three-wheeled electric car, as seen in Austin Powers Goldmember, had been touted as the future of wheeled transportation. So much for the future.
After more than a year of battling state investigators, irate customers, lawsuits from would-be dealers, unpaid suppliers and worried shareholders who felt they were bamboozled by false information, Corbin Motors has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Unlike Chapter 11, under which a company keeps operating and plans to return to profitability, Chapter 7 is the end of the road. A federal trustee will divide Corbin’s assets among creditors, of which company president Tom Corbin said there are over 1000. Estimates of the company’s assets range from $1 million to $10 million.
Corbin had pinned its hopes for recovery from an estimated $3.8 million debt on its three-wheeled Merlin Roadster, which was first announced as an eco-friendly gasoline-electric hybrid but later as a straight gasoline three-wheeler. The Merlin never made it to the market.
Tom Corbin blamed the bankruptcy on former Corbin executive, Ron Huch, whose company merged with Corbin and who filed a $619,229 lien to recover losses. “This is Hollister’s version of Enron,” countered Huch, who is still a member of the Corbin board of directors but said he was never told of meetings, including those that might have planned for the bankruptcy.
Investigators from the state Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Corporations have been examining the company’s assets and financial practices for the past year to determine whether the Corbins accurately informed potential investors of the company’s true financial status when they solicited money.
All is not lost, however. Says one Sparrow owner: “Look at the positive side. We now all own a collector’s item.” Further information as to whether this will affect Corbin’s custom saddle line, saddle bags and furniture is still unclear.
Motorcycle Cop Stops Train
The Idaho Statesman reported that Idaho State Police trooper Cpl. C. Dwayne Prescott might want to consider teaching a new course at the police academy for new officers this year–Old School Action Hero 101.
Prescott, a motorcycle officer with the ISP, said his Steve McQueen moves were no big deal–that running alongside a moving train and jumping onto it was something any trooper would do. It was just that he got there first.
That´s because the 22-year ISP veteran managed to jump onto an unmanned, runaway locomotive Thursday, stop it, and make it reverse direction, all because he was worried it would cause an accident as it traveled through intersections.
Prescott didn’t know at the time that the locomotive, which rolled about 22 miles at speeds up to 40 mph, was on a collision course with a parked train on the same track in a downtown Nampa railyard. The 400,000-pound locomotive began rolling west toward Nampa, propelled by the force of gravity, Crutcher said. Officials of Idaho Northern & Pacific Railroad did not return phone calls Thursday. Officers with Boise, Nampa, and Meridian Police and the Canyon and AdaCounty sheriff´s offices helped block intersections as the engine rolled past. The hero of the day was Prescott, who initially attempted to get on the train near Can-Ada Road, but the engine was moving too fast–about 20 mph.
He got back on his motorcycle and drove to the 11th Avenue Extension crossing in Nampa, where the tracks head uphill and the engine slowed to about 5 to 10 mph. He got off his bike, ran beside the train and climbed aboard. “I just got on and started pulling levers,” Prescott said.
Ok, after all is said and done, basically the guy threw the kickstand down. Jogged a couple of feet and proceeded to do the “Enie, Menie, Minie, Moe” until something happened. However, if it hadn’t been for this 2 wheeled donut machine, it would have been someone else. So, the lesson here children is if you’re thinking about doing something cool, do it. You never know, your name could appear in the Idaho Statesman and MMM!
Jesus Christ Super Star? No, It’s Evel Knievel: The Rock Opera
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — Former professional daredevil Evel Knievel has signed over exclusive rights to allow the production of “Evel Knievel: The Rock Opera.”
Jef Bek, a musical director and composer with the small Los Angeles theater company Zoo District, recently flew to Clearwater, Florida, to gain Knievel’s blessings after working for two years on the project. Knievel, 64, said he instantly liked Bek and his seven-song demo and signed over rights to stage his story.
“I think it’s a wonderful compliment,” said Knievel, who gained fame in the 1970s by jumping his motorcycle over cars and canyons. His daredevil career left him with 37 fractures, including broken bones in both legs, before he retired in 1980.
Bek, 40, said he envisions the rock opera as an homage to Knievel and to the musical spirit of 1970s bands such as The Who, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Knievel inspired a 12-year-old Bek to become a stunt rider while he was growing up in Des Plaines, Illinois, but Bek said he abandoned that dream after riding his bicycle into a tree stump.
“He was a living superhero,” Bek said. “He knows I get him, and he knows I understand what’s really significant about his legacy.”
AMA launches ridestraight.com
Pickerington, Ohio The AMA has launched a website to support “Ride Straight,” a national campaign to educate motorcyclists about the dangers of drinking and riding. The new website, www.ridestraight.com, features a wide range of educational and informational resources, as well as links to other motorcycle-safety programs. The site also includes public-service advertisements that can be downloaded for use in print publications. “The AMA is proud to take the lead in addressing the issue of impaired riding,” said Robert Rasor, President of the American Motorcyclist Association. “We believe that ridestraight.com can be a valuable tool in raising awareness about the risks of combining alcohol and motorcycling.”
In light of statistics showing that 41 percent of the fatally injured motorcycle riders in 2001 had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 g/dl or greater than the legal limit of impairment in many states, last September the AMA announced that it had joined forces with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to produce Ride Straight.
Very Boring Rally
Aerostich and the RiderWearHouse Catalog will be hosting a special 20th Anniversary Gala, Homecoming and Reunion: the Very Boring Rally, at their world headquarters in Duluth Minnesota on Saturday, August 16th. This lavish event is an occasion to meet lots of other riders and look at many other cool bikes. No tickets are required for attendance and there is nothing to purchase in advance. No new Aerostich products will be introduced.
It is also a once in a lifetime opportunity to receive a free 20th Anniversary Boring Rally pin. In addition there will be afternoon or evening entertainment at Duluth’s Downtown Bayfront Park. All Boring Rally guests may choose to enjoy appetizers, refreshments, dinners, desserts, breakfasts, lodgings, and camping sites…at the area’s many restaurants, hotels and campgrounds. The high point of the Boring Rally will be the awarding of a new Aerostich suit to the lucky individual who shows up wearing the worst looking old Roadcrafter suit. An impressive collection of discontinued, irregular and leftover RiderWearHouse catalog merchandise may be auctioned with proceeds to support a charitable organization. The State of Minnesota and the City of Duluth are poised to become the setting of this fabulous event. Join thousands of Aerostich fans from around the globe and the glory of local attractions like Lake Superior, the headwaters of the Mississippi River, the Iron Range, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Bob Zimmerman’s birth place and many other wonderful attractions.
Special instructions for finding the Boring Rally and for arranging accommodations are available online and by mail in the Boring Rally Flyer. This free multi-page guide/poster/flyer is the Official Commemorative Kit for the gathering. A glut of other tourists means advance hotel and camping reservations are essential. The Official Kit provides information about many hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds and other accommodations. It does not contain limited edition or one-of-a-kind items like commemorative patches, pins, T-shirts, or embossed leather trinket boxes. Possession of the Official Kit is not required to participate in the Boring Rally. All journeys to the rally may be undertaken individually or in groups from any location, by an unspecified route, at unscheduled timetables and at any pace. Removes a lot of pressure, doesn’t it?
For more information, or lack there of, and to receive the free Official Boring Rally Commemorative Kit, call Aerostich/RiderWearHouse at 800 222 1994 or check the Boring Rally website at www.boringrally.com